Receiving a review copy this new book by C&T Publishing, My Sewing Workshop, by Annabel Wrigley, made me so excited to teach my grand daughters to sew. Wrigley wrote the book as a guid for young people to learn to sew on their own. If the girls were about 10 – 12 years old, the book would be perfect for that. Because they are much younger, I would utilize the book differently. For me, the book is the perfect outline of how to teach children to sew. It is like having a complete lesson plan with tons of projects all photographed and explained perfectly. What a treasure this book is!
The layout of the book is done well. Wrigley explains the process of threading a machine, the basic parts of a sewing machine, as well as the difference in the types of fabric used in the projects (cotton, felt and canvas).
The projects are earmarked as Easy Peasy, Teeny Bit Challenging, and the most difficult – Take Your Time and Ask for Help. She does an excellent job explaining safety and is sure to tell a student when they need to have the help of an adult (eg using a staple gun or hot glue gun).
This is such a great exercise. I know my five year old granddaughter would love to pick the thread color and trace the lines. I also know I wouldn’t have thought to have her go through the exercise. Wrigley moves on to a very large zig zag for the student to trace which teaches the process of leaving the needle down and pivoting at each corner. H would want to change thread colors a million times but that is the fun of it and it is certain this Grammy has thread in every color of the rainbow for her to explore.
Hand stitching is an important part of being able to sew. There are seams to close and fun embroidery to learn. I loved this suggestion for sewing an opening closed. A while back, H was working on a little sewing project with me (I will post more on that later) and there was a bit of hand sewing to be done. I told her I would do it for her but as usual, her response was “no Grammy, I can do it”. Basically she did know how to do it but holding the project and moving the needle in and out was challenging. I think if I had her hold the object between her knees she would have been more successful.
Beyond hand stitching there are also lessons for sewing on a button, inserting a zipper and doing appliqué. This book explains it all!
Let’s check out some of the projects that are offered. The ideas are adorable and there is something for every child. (Side note here – the only area I find lacking in the book is none of the projects show a boy sewing or use masculine themes. Many of them could be adjusted toward a boy. I realize not many boys enjoy sewing but this is changing and should be encouraged in publications such as this.)
The cross body pouch shown above is classified as “Teeny Bit Challenging” so it is in the middle, skill wise. Depending on the age of the student, these ratings will sometimes be less accurate. But the book is written for independent use by a middle school child. If I were using it for H, this project would be too difficult. However there are lots of easier projects to be made.
This project really appeals to me. Cupcakes are fun at any age and this would be so easy to make. Cutting out the shapes and fusing to the background, then adding the top stitching would be something a beginner could achieve and be successful. Also, one could use any shape here. (By the way, crayon books provide a great opportunity for easy appliqué stencils.) There are many more projects including a cover for a tablet or iPad, a sweet lavender sachet, and fun decorations for their bedroom. I love the yo-yo garland which uses felt to make various sizes of yo-yos. There is a fun bunting and a fabric tassel garland (no sewing needed here). I strongly recommend the book.
I could see many ways this book could be utilized. Leaders for Girl Scouts or 4-H could use this when helping kids work toward a sewing and/or crafting badge. Grammy’s such as me could teach their little ones to sew. It would be a wonderful gift for that special child or grandchild during the holidays. Wrap it in fabric instead of paper for a double gift!
If you aren’t familiar with Annabel Wrigley already, here are her social media feeds and website. She is very clever and has taught many students. Year of great experience is shared with us in this book.
To making things even more exciting, I have one copy of the e-book to give to a lucky reader! If you are interested in winning the e-book, please leave me a comment telling a memory about when you learned to sew. Who taught you? How old were you? I would love to know. If you want to read about my early experiences with sewing, check out this post. Good luck all!